Did you know that a person's special interests can have a huge impact on how they engage with learning?
What is a special interest?
A special interest is something an individual on the autistic spectrum has a great interest in and focus intently on for long periods of time, often excluding others or other responsibilities.
Simon's Story: using special interests for learning
When our team met Simon, he found traditional educational settings challenging, becoming distressed in response to loud noises and distracted by other students. Overwhelmed, Simon would respond by taking his anxieties out on his surroundings
To continue his education, the team at MacIntyre got creative and enlisted the help of a staff member with an artistic flair to produce personalised comics for Simon to help him to learn.
As a result of personalising his learning, Simon bloomed. Since then, Simon has made considerable progress. He has developed independence and completed work experience at a local internet café.
Reflecting on Simon's progress, staff said:
"George is a wonderful young man with a great sense of humour and a desire to do well in everything he attempts. He has shown that he capable of working."
*Names have been changed.